Members of the Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) seemingly turned up to the Meeting of the House of Assembly earlier today in the mistaken belief that parliament was set to be prorogued.
Speculation had been rampant in the past 24 hours that Prime Minister Gonsalves who completed his home quarantine today would have made such a move to facilitate early elections.
The Unity Labour Party (ULP) released late last evening a campaign promotion inviting supporters to join the Prime Minister in a lap around Kingstown.
And while the parliament proceeded to have an abbreviated session to facilitate the 3:00 pm start of the ULP campaign event, an announcement of a prorogation did not materialise as expected with Speaker of the House Hon Carlos James indicating that he did not know where the NDP got the idea from.
He told members that there are individuals on the government side who will also be retiring whenever parliament is dissolved but today was not the day. Parliament was adjourned until November 12th, 2020.
However, members of the NDP took turns in congratulating former leader Hon Arnhim Eustace for his service to the country.
Dr Hon Godwin Friday was in a reflective mood noting:
“This may well be the last parliament before elections, I don’t want to take any chances so I wish Mr Speaker, to congratulate him [Mr Eustace] on the sterling service that he has put into this parliament, to this country.”
“Congratulations. Well done…It cannot be denied that his accomplishments are laudable and deserve not just the paltry words of recognition that I can give here today but much more from our country and from this parliament.”
Mr Eustace who also stood up thinking it would have been his last sitting said in a short speech that he was disappointed that members of his family did not get an opportunity to join him.
He told members on both sides of the House:
“I have one regret about today Mr Speaker, in this what I believe possibly might be my last sitting in this parliament. Is that I wanted to have my family here today to hear this debate, but this was not to be because I understand my request in that regard was not acceptable.”
A visibly disappointed Eustace further added:
I am deeply disappointed in that Mr Speaker and that decision. They are the ones who bear the brunt of all that we face and I take strong objection to the fact that they are not allowed to come here, four or five people who represent my family and close supporters of the New Democratic Party in East Kingstown
It is now left to be seen if Mr Eustace will return to the House on November 12th or at the next sitting of parliament to have a more fitting send off.
Prime Minister Gonsalves is expected to address a virtual public meeting tonight for his party which political pundits expect him to say, “Get Set!”